Thought for the Day – Easter Monday of the Easter Octave – 2 April 2018

Thought for the Day – Easter Monday of the Easter Octave – 2 April 2018

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Figure of our spiritual resurrection.

“So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Hail!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”… Matthew 28:8-10

Let us represent to ourselves anew, the glory of the Sepulchre of Jesus.

“In this way we enter the depths of the Paschal mystery.   The astonishing event of the resurrection of Jesus is essentially an event of love:  the Father’s love in handing over His Son for the salvation of the world;  the Son’s love in abandoning Himself to the Father’s will for us all;  the Spirit’s love in raising Jesus from the dead in His transfigured body.   And there is more: the Father’s love which “newly embraces” the Son, enfolding Him in glory;  the Son’s love returning to the Father in the power of the Spirit, robed in our transfigured humanity.   From today’s solemnity, in which we relive the absolute, once-and-for-all experience of Jesus’s Resurrection, we receive an appeal to be converted to Love;   we receive an invitation to live by rejecting hatred and selfishness and to follow with docility in the footsteps of the Lamb that was slain for our salvation, to imitate the Redeemer who is “gentle and lowly in heart”, who is “rest for our souls” (cf. Mt 11:29).”

Pope Benedict 23 March 2008

easter monday - 2 april 2018 - the astonishing even of the resurrection - pope benedict

Adorable Lord, bestow on us grace to rise spiritually, by leaving the tomb of indifference, to lead a life of fervour.

At Easter we recall the words God spoke to Moses concerning the Paschal solemnity:  For it is the Phase – that is, the Passage – of the Lord.  Now we celebrate the Passage of our Lord from Death to Life and think upon our own passage from a life of tepidity to one of fervour, from an imperfect to a holy life.   Jesus, in leaving the Tomb, disengaged Himself from the winding-sheet in which His Sacred Body had been wrapped;  this should make us understand that we must extricate ourselves from the imperfections and bad habits, which for so long a time have kept out souls bound and motionless for good.   If we rise with Jesus and set ourselves free from the paralysed state in which our evil inclinations have retained us, they will infallibly disappear.   Our Risen Lord was clothed with the power of agility to teach us to despise all resistance of nature, to pass quickly out of its reach, to triumph over every obstacle and that our souls should tend upwards to Him alone.   If we are indeed risen with Christ we shall seek the things that are above and our whole being will be spiritualised, responding with agility to the promptings not of nature, but of grace.   May we be enabled fully to enter into the Mystery of the Resurrection-Life of Jesus and to receive the plenitude of His favours, offered to us at this time especially.

Jesus, in rising from the Sepulchre, clothed in light, wills that we should understand what is the beauty of a soul disengaged from the ties of nature and renewed in the spiritual life.   The soul, like Jesus, becomes luminous, the Holy Spirit enlightens it interiorly, by filling it with the knowledge of divine things;  it is possessed of a lustrous beauty and its virtues shine visibly, contributing to the edification of others.   By the impassibility of the Body of Jesus, we comprehend that grace raises the soul, by means of holy courage, above temptations;  it renders it invulnerable against the darts of the enemies of its salvation and gives it the power of mastering its downward tendencies. Such are the happy privileges granted to His faithful ones, who lovingly enter into the spirit of the Mystery of Easter.   Sufferings indeed we must still endure, for we are still on this side of the grave but if they serve only to raise us near to Jesus, we may be said to share already in the effects of His impassibility.   We range ourselves therefore around Him, to rejoice at the sight of the glory He received in His Resurrection and to honour the marvellous capabilities of His Adorable Body, by rendering ourselves worthy, by our fervour, to participate in them spiritually.

O my Saviour, I thank You for the favour You accord me, permitting me to partake in the glorious privileges of the new life You began.   Make me to be entirely renewed in the spirit of my mind so that, freed from the servitude of sense and natural affections, I may rise constantly towards You, with a pure and generous heart.

Aided by the grace Jesus bestows, I will endeavour to reproduce spiritually in myself, the capabilities observable in His Sacred Humanity after the Resurrection.

If by the Spirit, you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.

Father de Brant, Growth in the Knowledge of Our Lord volume 2, 1882


Saint of the Day – 2 April – St Francis of Paola O.M. (1416-1507)

Saint of the Day – 2 April – St Francis of Paola O.M. (1416-1507) also known as “Saint Francis the Fire Handler” – Monk and Founder, inspired with the Gift of Prophecy and still called the “Miracle-Worker“, Apostle of the poor, Peacemaker – born on 27 March 1416 at Paola, Calabria, Kingdom of Italy (part of modern Italy) and died on 2 April 1507 (Good Friday) at Plessis, France of natural causes.   He was an Italian mendicant Friar and the Founder of the Order of Minims.   Unlike the majority of founders of men’s religious orders and like his Patron Saint, Francis was never Ordained a Priest  In 1562 Huguenots broke open his tomb, found his body incorrupt and burned it. The bones were salvaged by Catholics and distributed as relics to various churches.    Patronages – against fire, against plague/epidemics, against sterility,  mariners, sailors,  naval officers, travellers, 7 Cities.

Festa di S. Francesco di Paola 1
St Francis founded the Hermits of St Francis which Rule was formally approved by Pope Alexander VI, who, however, changed their title into that of “Minims”.   Their name refers to their role as the “least of all the faithful”.   Humility was to be the hallmark of the brothers as it had been in Francis’s personal life.   bstinence from meat and other animal products became a “fourth vow” of his religious order, along with the traditional vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.   Francis instituted the continual, year-round observance of this diet in an effort to revive the tradition of fasting during Lent, which many Roman Catholics had ceased to practice by the 15th century.   The rule of life adopted by Francis and his religious was one of extraordinary severity.   He felt that heroic mortification was necessary as a means for spiritual growth.   They were to seek to live unknown and hidden from the world.   After the approbation of the order, Francis founded several new monasteries in Calabria and Sicily.   He also established monasteries of nuns and a third order for people living in the world, after the example of St Francis of Assisi.HEADER - StFrancisdePaola-FounderStatue

Francis was born in the town of Paola, which lies in the southern Italian Province of Cosenza, Calabria.   In his youth he was educated by the Franciscan friars in Paola.   His parents were remarkable for the holiness of their lives, having remained childless for some years after their marriage, they had recourse to prayer and especially commended themselves to the intercession of St Francis of Assisi, after whom they named their first-born son.   Two other children were eventually born to them.

When still in the cradle, Francis suffered from a swelling which endangered the sight of one of his eyes.   His parents again had recourse to Francis of Assisi and made a vow that their son should pass an entire year wearing the “little habit” of St Francis in one of the friaries of his Order, a not-uncommon practice in the Middle Ages.   The child was immediately cured.

From his early years Francis showed signs of extraordinary sanctity and at the age of 13, being admonished by a vision of a Franciscan friar, he entered a friary of the Franciscan Order to fulfil the vow made by his parents.   Here he gave great edification by his love of prayer and mortification, his profound humility and his prompt obedience.   At the completion of the year he went with his parents on a pilgrimage to Assisi, Rome, and other places of devotion.   Returning to Paola, he selected a secluded cave on his father’s estate and there lived in solitude;  but later on he found an even-more secluded cave on the sea coast.   Here he remained alone for about six years, giving himself to prayer and mortification.

st francis of paola 2

Soon others joined him and they took the name Hermits of Saint Francis of Assisi and followed the practices of the Franciscans, or the Franciscan Minim Friars.   The order attracted many candidates within a sort space of time.

Francis later felt God calling him to defend those who were poor and oppressed.   He scolded King Ferdinand of Naples and his sons for their wrongdoing.   In 1482, when King Louis XI of France was dying, he begged that Francis come to cure him.   Francis at first refused but Pope Sixtus IV ordered him to care for the king and prepare him for death.   When the king saw Francis, he pleaded for a miracle.   Francis rebuked him, saying that the lives of kings are in the hands of God.   Francis restored peace between France and Great Britain and between France and Spain.jusepe-de-ribera-saint-francis-of-paolast francis of paola

Famous Miracles:

According to a famous story, in the year 1464, he was refused passage by a boatman while trying to cross the Strait of Messina to Sicily.   He reportedly laid his cloak on the water, tied one end to his staff as a sail and sailed across the strait with his companions following in the boat.   The second of Franz Liszt’s “Legendes” (for solo piano) describes this story in music.

After his nephew died, the boy’s mother—the saint’s own sister—appealed to Francis for comfort and filled his apartment with lamentations.   After the Mass and divine office had been said for the repose of his soul, St Francis ordered the corpse to be carried from the church into his cell, where he continued praying until, to her great astonishment, the boy’s life was restored and Francis presented him to his mother in perfect health.   The young man entered his order and is the celebrated Nicholas Alesso who afterwards followed his uncle into France and was famous for sanctity and many great actions.St_Francis_of_Paola_Blessing_the_Son_of_Louisa_of_Savoy

St Francis also raised his pet lamb, Martinello, from the dead after it had been eaten by workmen. “Being in need of food, the workmen caught and slaughtered Francis’ pet lamb, Martinello, roasting it in their lime kiln.   They were eating when the Saint approached them, looking for his lamb.   They told him they had eaten it, having no other food.   He asked what they had done with the fleece and the bones.   They told him they had thrown them into the furnace.   Francis walked over to the furnace, looked into the fire and called ‘Martinello, come out!’   The lamb jumped out, completely untouched, bleating happily on seeing his master.”

Pope Leo X canonised him in 1519.   He is considered to be a patron saint of boatmen, mariners and naval officers.   His liturgical feast day is celebrated by the universal Church today, the day on which he died. In 1963, Pope John XXIII designated him as the patron saint of Calabria.   Though his miracles were numerous, he was canonised for his humility and discernment in blending the contemplative life with the active one.

Devotion of the Thirteen Fridays:
Pope Clement XII, in the brief “Coelestium Munerum Dispensatio” of 2 December 1738, promulgated an indulgence to all the faithful who, upon 13 Fridays continuously preceding the Feast of St Francis of Paola (2 April), or at any other time of the year, shall, in honour of this Saint, visit a church of the Minims and pray there for the Church.   In this brief, mention is made of a devotion which originated with St Francis himself, who, on each of 13 Fridays, used to recite 13 Pater Nosters (Our Fathers) and as many Ave Marias (Hail Marys) and this devotion he promulgated by word of mouth and by letter to his own devout followers, as an efficacious means of obtaining from God the graces they desired, provided they were for the greater good of their souls


Our Morning Offering – 2 April – Easter Monday

Our Morning Offering – 2 April – Easter Monday

The beautiful ancient Easter sequence Victimae Paschali Laudes can be said or sung before the Gospel every day during the Octave:

Victimae Paschali Laudes

Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems;
Christ, who only is sinless,
Reconciles sinners to the Father.

Death and life have contended
in that combat stupendous:
The Prince of Life, who died, reigns immortal.

Speak, Mary, declaring
What you saw, wayfaring.
“The tomb of Christ, who is living,
The glory of Jesus’ resurrection;

Bright angels attesting,
The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen;
To Galilee He goes before you.”

Christ indeed from death is risen,
our new life obtaining.
Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
Amen. Alleluia!++eater monday 2 april 2018 - Victimae Paschali Laudes - easter sequence


Memorials of the Saints – 2 April

St Francis of Paola O.M. (1416-1507) (Optional Memorial)

St Abundius of Como
St Agnofleda of Maine
St Appian of Caesarea
St Bronach of Glen-Seichis
St Constantine of Scotland
St Ðaminh Tuoc
Bl Diego Luis de San Vitores-Alonso
St Ebbe the Younger
St Eustace of Luxeuil
St Francis Coll Guitart
St John Payne
Bl Leopold of Gaiche
St Lonochilus of Maine
St Musa of Rome
Bl Mykolai Charnetsky
St Nicetius of Lyon
St Pedro Calungsod
St Rufus of Glendalough
St Theodora of Tiria
St Urban of Langres
St Victor of Capua
Bl Vilmos Apor


The Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions April 2018

The Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions
April 2018

For Those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters

That economists may have the courage
to reject, any economy of exclusion
and know how to open new paths.HOLY FATHER'S PRAYER INTENTIONS APRIL 2018


Devotion for the Month of April – The Holy Eucharist

Devotion for the Month of April – The Holy Eucharist

The Church has historically encouraged the month of April for increased devotion to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.  “The Church in the course of the centuries has introduced various forms of this Eucharistic worship which are ever increasing in beauty and helpfulness;  as, for example, visits of devotion to the tabernacles, even every day;  Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; solemn processions, especially at the time of Eucharistic Congresses, which pass through cities and villages;  and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament publicly exposed . . . These exercises of piety have brought a wonderful increase in faith and supernatural life to the Church militant upon earth and they are re-echoed to a certain extent by the Church triumphant in heaven, which sings continually a hymn of praise to God and to the Lamb ‘Who was slain.'” -Venerable Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) Pope from 1939 to his death in 1958.april devotion - the blessed sacrament - 2 april 2018

Prayer before Holy Communion
By St Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868)

Oh! Yes, Lord Jesus, come and reign!
Let my body be Your temple,
my heart Your throne,
my will Your devoted servant;
let me be Yours forever,
living only in You and for You!
AmenPrayer before Holy Comm - st peter julian eymard - 2 april 2018

Eucharistic Adoration By:  St Pope John Paul II

“I encourage Christians regularly to visit Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament, for we are all called to abide in the presence of God.   In contemplation, Christians will perceive ever more profoundly the mystery at the heart of Christian life.
I urge priests, religious and lay people to continue and redouble their efforts to teach the younger generations the meaning and value of Eucharistic adoration and devotion.   How will young people be able to know the Lord if they are not introduced to the mystery of His presence?   Like the young Samuel, by learning the words of the prayer of the heart, they will be closer to the Lord, who will accompany them in their spiritual and human growth.   The Eucharistic mystery is in fact the “summit of evangelisation” (Lumen Gentium) for it is the most eminent testimony to Christ’s resurrection.”

Private Eucharistic Adoration
Venerable Fr Benedict Groeschel points out in the book, “In the Presence of Our Lord : The History, Theology and Psychology of Eucharistic Devotion” that there are “four kinds of prayer most appropriate in the presence of the Eucharist, namely adoration and praise, thanksgiving, repentance and trusting intercession.”   Accordingly, here are suggestions for what to do during private Eucharistic adoration.

1. Pray the Psalms or the Liturgy of the Hours
Whether you are praising, giving thanks, asking for forgiveness or seeking an answer, you’ll find an appropriate psalm.   The ancient prayer of the Church called the Liturgy of the Hours presents an excellent way to pray through the Book of Psalms throughout the year.

2. Recite the “Jesus Prayer”
Say “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner”, repeatedly as you quiet your heart and mind.

3. Meditate using Scripture
Choose a passage from the Bible. read the words and ask God to let the passage speak to you.   Pay special attention to anything that strikes you and ask God what He wishes for you to draw from that message.

4. Read the life of a saint and pray with him or her
Most holy men and women have had a great devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist. Therese of Lisieux, Catherine of Siena, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, Peter Julian Eymard, Dorothy Day. Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Baroness Catherine de Hueck are just a few.   Read about them and pray their prayers before the Blessed Sacrament.

5. Pour out your heart to Christ and adore Him
Speak to Jesus, aware that you are in His presence and tell Him all that comes to your mind.   Listen for His response.   Pray the prayer that St Francis instructed his brothers to pray whenever they were before the Blessed Sacrament:  “I adore You, O Christ, present here and in all the churches of the world, for by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.”

6. Ask for forgiveness and intercede for others
Think of those who have hurt you and request a special blessing for them.   Ask God to forgive you for all the times you have neglected or hurt someone else.   Bring before the Blessed Sacrament all those who have asked you to pray for them.   Ask the Lord to address their concerns.

7. Pray the Rosary
St Pope John Paul II reminds us, “…is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Chris and cradled him in her arms that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic communion?” (The Church and the Eucharist, 55)   Ask Mary to join you as you gaze on Christ in the Eucharist and as you pray the Rosary.

8. Sit quietly and just “be” in the presence of God
Think of a visit to the Blessed Sacrament as coming to see your best friend.   Sit quietly and enjoy being in each other’s company.   Instead of talking to the Lord, try listening to what He wants to tell you.

Prayer before the Eucharistic Presence
By Bl John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

I place myself in the presence of Him,
in whose Incarnate Presence I am,
before I place myself there.
I adore You, O my Saviour,
present here as God and man,
in soul and body,
in true flesh and blood.
I acknowledge and confess,
that I kneel before the Sacred Humanity,
which was conceived in Mary’s womb
and lay in Mary’s bosom;
which grew up to man’s estate
and by the Sea of Galilee, called the Twelve,
wrought miracles and spoke words of wisdom and peace;
Who in due season hung on the cross,
lay in the tomb, rose from the dead
and now reigns in heaven.
I praise and bless
and give myself wholly to Him,
Who is the true Bread of my soul
and my everlasting joy. AmenI place myself in the presence - bl john henry - 2 april 2018